Disney, the world renowned film studio that produced the likes of Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty, has announced that it will be shutting down its online streaming site, Disney Movies Online. The move may come as a surprise to users, not because they’ve been using the service religiously, but more likely because they didn’t know that Disney offered such a service. Whether from poor publicity or poor execution, Disney Movies Online will be closing its services to all users by December 31st.
The demise of Disney Movies Online can be attributed to a few influential business moves (or, more accurately, lack thereof) executed by the company. The most glaring mistake has to do with selection. Disney Movies Online’s main problem is that it offers movies from only one film studio. Most people wouldn’t want to avail that kind of service unless they happen to be Disney fanatics. It’s just too limiting. And that’s assuming these major Disney fans don’t already own the titles they want on DVD or Blu-ray.
Another flaw in the Disney Movies Online streaming service is that it’s a sole entity. What’s meant by that is that Disney didn’t even try to integrate the service into another one like UltraViolet, which offers users the opportunity to get a digital version of their DVDs (which can come from a number of major film studios) for streaming purposes and other types of digital consumption. Disney’s online streaming service didn’t lack these features per se; it just tried to become independent in a market of services competing in the breadth of content offered and the convenience of accessing that content.
So what’s in store for people who have been using Disney Movies Online despite its disadvantages? They can enjoy access to the service’s online streaming until the end of the year, December 31, to be exact. As of now, subscribers can no longer purchase or upgrade movies, an official indication that Disney is definitely closing up shop. The company is offering an opportunity for refunds to subscribers who would like to get money spent on movies or upgrades back. These customers have to send an email to Disney by February 28 of the coming year expressing their concerns. After that cutoff date, no other refund requests will be accommodated.